Eight per cent of transit referendum ballots received

Early tally shows mail-in ballots now at Elections BC have come from only Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Coquitlam

The number of transit tax referendum ballots that have been received and initially processed by Elections BC is up to 8.0 per cent as of today.

The nearly 125,000 tallied so far continue to be mainly from voters in Vancouver and Surrey – the initial cities Elections BC mailed out the ballots for what officials called efficiency reasons.

The return rate by municipality as of April 8 is 17.8 per cent in Vancouver, 12.2 per cent in Richmond, 8.1 per cent in Surrey and 5.3 per cent each in both Burnaby and Coquitlam.

Explore interactive charts below for detailed data by municipality

More ballots have arrived but aren’t yet included in the count, Elections BC spokesman Don Main said.

The ballots counted are ones in which Elections BC has opened the outer yellow return envelope and verified that the voter’s signature and birth date is on the next certification envelope.

Observers from both the Yes and No campaigns have said it’s not unexpected for many municipalities to show no results for the first few weekly counts until more ballots trickle in.

“Three or four weeks from today, we should have a much clearer picture of turnout,” said No campaigner Jordan Bateman. “These early returns grossly under-report voters outside Vancouver, simply because other communities received their ballots later.”

Metro voters are being asked to approve or reject an increase in the provincial sales tax in the region from 7.0 to 7.5 per cent in order to fund a $7.5 billion package of mainly transit upgrades over the next 10 years.

The planned upgrades include a Broadway subway, light rail in Surrey, a new Pattullo Bridge, new B-line express bus routes across the region and a 25 per cent general bus service lift.

Anyone who has not yet received a voting package can call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 or go to elections.bc.ca/ovr to request one by May 15.

Ballots returned so far | Create infographics

Just Posted

Surrey’s Amazing Tutors donates hundreds of ‘Sunshine Food Bags’ to those less fortunate

For three years, volunteers and students have been putting together donation packages

Delta supports proposed Health Canada regulations for cannabis edibles

Regulations focus on standardizing THC content, making sure edibles aren’t appealing to youth

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to the Lower Mainland, again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Most Read